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Game Day: Blue Jackets vs. Preds

by Nashville Predators / Nashville Predators

(6-14-2) Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Nashville Predators (15-5-2)
  7 P.M. | Bridgestone Arena
TV: FS-TN | Radio: 102.5 The Game
Tickets

The Nashville Predators are set to close out their four-game home stand tonight with a meeting against the Columbus Blue Jackets. It's the first of two meetings between the two clubs this season and the only one in Nashville. The Preds have seen each of the first three games of the home stand decided in either overtime or a shootout, coming away with a victory in each. Filip Forsberg tallied the game-winner in overtime for a 1-0 win against Edmonton on Thanksgiving night.

Preds goaltender Pekka Rinne stopped all 37 shots thrown his way against the Oilers on Thursday night, including a save on a Jordan Eberle penalty shot in the overtime session. It was his 34th career shutout and fifth-straight victory. Rinne's 15 wins are tops in the NHL, and the Finnish netminder has recorded nine wins in his last 10 games. Rinne's goals-against average (1.86) and save percentage (.932) are also among the NHL leaderboard.

Forsberg's tally on Thursday was the first overtime goal of his career. The goal also marked the rookie's third game-winning goal on the season, placing him into a tie for second among all NHLers. Forsberg continues to play at better than a point-per-game pace in the month of November, with 16 points (9g-5a) in 15 games played in the month. On the season, Forsberg leads NHL rookies in goals (10), assists (13) and points (23), as well as time on ice (17:15).

Mike Fisher saw his first action of the 2014-15 season on Thursday night, skating 12:44 in a return from an offseason Achilles tendon injury. Fisher led the Preds in hits with three and had a game-high 64 percent conversion rate in the faceoff circle.

Bridgestone Arena has been rather kind to the Preds as of late, with the club going 9-1-1 this season at home, as well as winning five straight on Broadway. Of the team's nine home wins, eight have been one-goal decisions, including one that was decided in overtime and three more that needed a shootout.

Prior to conference realignment that occurred before to the 2013-14 season, the Preds and Blue Jackets played 13 seasons as divisional foes, a period in which Nashville compiled a 50-17-1 record against Columbus. Shea Weber has 34 points (10g-24a) in 43 career games against the Jackets, his highest total against any team. James Neal has been a point-per-game player against Columbus, with 14 points (9g-5a) in 14 career games. Columbus fell 5-0 to the Vancouver Canucks last night.
Predators Game Day Video:

What to Watch for: Brent and Willy's Breakdown


Mattias Ekholm, Taylor Beck:


Coach Presser: Head Coach Peter Laviolette



(Neither team held an official morning skate, so lines are only projected)

Projected Nashville Lines:

Forwards:


Forsberg - Ribeiro - Neal

Wilson - Jarnkrok - Smith

Cullen - Fisher - Jokinen

Nystrom - Gaustad - Beck

Defensemen:

Josi - Weber

Ekholm - Ellis

Volchenkov - Jones

Goaltenders:

Pekka Rinne

Carter Hutton


Projected Columbus Lines:

Forwards:


Hartnell - Johansen - Foligno

Calvert - Jenner - Atkinson

Gibbons - Anisimov - Skille

Tropp - Chaput - Boll

Defensemen:

Erixon - Wisniewski

Johnson - Prout

Leopold - Savard

Goaltenders:

Sergei Bobrovsky

Curtis McElhinney
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